- M56 motorway
Route information Part of E22 Length: 33.3 mi (53.6 km) Existed: 1971 – present History: Constructed 1971–1981 Major junctions East end: Cheadle
J1 → M60 motorway Junction 4
J9 → M6 motorway Junction 20
J15 → M53 motorway Junction 11
West end: Mollington Location Primary
Wythenshawe, Manchester Airport, Warrington, Runcorn, Ellesmere Port, Chester Road network
The M56 Motorway, also known as the North Cheshire motorway, is in Cheshire and Greater Manchester, England. It runs from Junction 4 of the M60 to Dunkirk, Cheshire and is 33.3 miles (53.6 km) in length. It is often busy with long-distance commuter traffic towards North Wales. It serves commuters heading to Manchester particularly those from the wider Cheshire area and gives access to Manchester Airport from the national motorway network. 
Although the main line of the motorway starts as a continuation of the A5103 Princess Parkway, the M56 actually begins on Sharston Spur. After passing through junctions 1 and 2, the spur joins the main line at junction 3, increasing from two lanes to four to accommodate Manchester Airport traffic.
The road then heads south to the west of Wythenshawe and Manchester Airport until it reaches junction 6, where it turns west. It runs to the south of Hale, reducing to three lanes. It passes junctions 7 and 8 which are part of the same complex. Junction 8 was planned to be used by the proposed A556(M)). The current proposals are to upgrade the A556 to a dual carriageway. Traffic for the southbound M6 leaves here and this junction can suffer from congestion. The motorway then enters a more rural setting between Broomedge and High Legh.
After meeting the M6 motorway it passes south of Appleton Thorn. After reaching junction 11, it runs through the outskirts of Runcorn and Frodsham. Between junctions 12 and 14, and the missing junction 13, it runs parallel to the River Mersey and the Manchester Ship Canal. After meeting the M53 motorway, the road finally returns to two lanes, it proceeds between Chester to the south and Ellesmere Port to its termination at Dunkirk, Cheshire where it becomes the A494.
The first proposal for a road along this route was agreed in 1958 and it entered the Trunk Road Programme for 1967/1968. Construction began in 1968 and the motorway opened in stages between 1971 and 1981:
- Junctions 1 to 3 opened in 1975.
- Junctions 3 to 7 opened in 1972.
- Junctions 7 to 9 opened in 1974.
- Junctions 9 to 11 opened in 1975.
- Junctions 11 to 14 opened in 1971.
- Junctions 14 to 16 opened in 1981.
Until 2008 the M56 terminated at a roundabout at the west end. Work started in 2006  to grade-separate this junction (and others) to allow free-flowing traffic to North Wales. The project was completed in 2008.
M56 Motorway km Eastbound exits Junction Westbound exits Stockport M60
M60, J4 Start of motorway
Didsbury A34 J1 No access No access J2 Wythenshawe, Altrincham A560 (M60) Altrincham, Wythenshawe, Wythenshawe Hospital, Cheadle A560 J3a Start of motorway
(Princess Parkway spur)
Altrincham, Congleton, Wythenshawe A5103
Manchester Ring Road (M60)
J3 No access 11.6 No access J4 Wythenshawe 12.6 Manchester Airport J5 Manchester Airport 14.3 Hale, Wilmslow, Macclesfield A538 J6 Wilmslow, Hale, Macclesfield A538 19.9 Altrincham A56 J7 & J8 Northwich A556
28.3 Preston, Birmingham, Leeds (M62) M6 J9 Preston, Liverpool (M62) M6 33.4 Warrington, Northwich A49 J10 Northwich, Warrington A49 38.3 Runcorn (E), Warrington A56 J11 Preston Brook, Daresbury A56 43.1 Runcorn, Widnes, Northwich A557 J12 Frodsham, Runcorn, Widnes A557 51.4 Stanlow Refinery, Helsby A5117 J14
Stanlow Refinery, Helsby A5117 55.6 No access J15 Ellesmere Port, Birkenhead, Chester, Wrexham M53 Start of Motorway J16 No access North Wales, Queensferry A5117 Road continues as A494 towards North Wales
Junction 7 slip closures
At Junction 7 in July 2009, the slip road letting traffic come in southbound along the M56 and turn onto the A556 southbound was closed while the bridge where it crosses the M56 (the Bowdon View Bridge), which for many years had had a weight restriction, was worked on; traffic intending to use it had to carry on to junction 10 and there turn round, or go through the center of Altrincham; traffic for the simultaneous nearby Tatton Park Flower Show, and the resulting simultaneous closure to through traffic of the minor road along the southwest edge of Tatton Park from Ashley, Cheshire to Mere, Cheshire, which would otherwise have acted as a bypass for people living in the area, added to the resulting congestion.
- Friday 18 October evening to Monday 18 October: Remove old bridge: Done. Start building center pillar in the central reservation for the replacement bridge.
- Friday 22 October to Sunday 24 October: Finish building center pillar, as this could not be finished the previous weekend.
- Friday 29 October to Monday 1 November: Install new bridge: Done. Reopen bridge: ???
- Thursday 4 November c. 2.30 pm: By then the new bridge was open for one lane of traffic with no apparent weight restriction, but there were still workmen there.
"The M56 corridor" is a term used by estate agents and social geographers to describe what is considered to be a relatively affluent area of North West England, within easy reach of the M56. The area includes the cities of Manchester and Chester, and commuter towns and villages in rural Cheshire. It also includes Warrington and St Helens where the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are prominent.
- ^ Pathetic Motorways - A556(M)
- ^ Highways Agency Press Release
- ^ The Motorway Archive - M56 Scheme Introduction
- ^ The Motorway Archive - M56 Dates Page
- ^ CBRD Motorway Database - M56 Timeline
- ^ The Motorway Archive - M56 J16 to J14
- ^ House of Commons Hansard Debates for 23 July 1993 - Column 403
- ^ Driver Location Signs, Highway Agency Area 10 (map) - Highway Authority, 2009
- ^ "Bridge repair work on M56 extended to three weekends". BBC News. 18 October 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-11565895. Retrieved 2010-10-18.
- ^ M56 Bowdon View Bridge successfully demolished
- ^ M56 Junction 7 Bowdon View Bridge Replacement and Junction Improvement
- ^ M56 bridge repair works continue near Bowdon
- ^ Property Week article: M56 corridor dated 2008-09-17
Motorways in the United Kingdom Great Britain
(England, Scotland, Wales)
Northern Ireland former unbuilt Transport in Greater Manchester Air BusArriva North West • Bluebird • Bullocks • Checkmate • Finglands • First Manchester • GM Buses • Jim Stones Coaches • JPT • Maytree Travel • Metroshuttle • Rossendale Transport • Speedwellbus • Stagecoach Manchester • South Lancs Travel • Stotts • Warrington Borough Transport • List of bus routes in Greater Manchester Road TramManchester Metrolink • Greater Manchester Metrolink Limited Rail TIF bidSee also: Transport in Manchester
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
M56 — or M 56 may refer to:* Messier 56 (M56), a globular cluster in the constellation Lyra * M56 motorway, a motorway in England * M56 howitzer, a Yugoslav copy of the M101A1 howitzer * M56 Scorpion, an unarmoured American self propelled anti tank gun … Wikipedia
Motorway M6 — Vorlage:Infobox hochrangige Straße/Wartung/GB M M6 motorway im Vereinigten Königreich … Deutsch Wikipedia
Motorway M60 — Vorlage:Infobox hochrangige Straße/Wartung/GB M M60 motorway im Vereinigten Königreich … Deutsch Wikipedia
Motorway — Dies ist eine Liste aller Autobahnen in Großbritannien. Bitte beachten, dass für Großbritannien und Nordirland unterschiedliche Nummerierungsschemata existieren; siehe Straßensystem in Irland. Die Autobahnen werden durch blaue Schilder und einer… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Motorway M62 — Vorlage:Infobox hochrangige Straße/Wartung/GB M M62 motorway im Vereinigten Königreich … Deutsch Wikipedia
Motorway M74 — Vorlage:Infobox hochrangige Straße/Wartung/GB M M74 motorway im Vereinigten Königreich … Deutsch Wikipedia
Motorway M25 — Vorlage:Infobox hochrangige Straße/Wartung/GB M M25 motorway im Vereinigten Königreich Karte … Deutsch Wikipedia
Motorway M4 — Vorlage:Infobox hochrangige Straße/Wartung/GB M M4 motorway im Vereinigten Königreich … Deutsch Wikipedia
Motorway M1 — Vorlage:Infobox hochrangige Straße/Wartung/GB M M1 motorway im Vereinigten Königreich … Deutsch Wikipedia
Motorway M5 — Vorlage:Infobox hochrangige Straße/Wartung/GB M M5 motorway im Vereinigten Königreich Karte … Deutsch Wikipedia